Microsoft’s new Edge browser based on Chromium is available to download for Android, iOS, Mac, and Windows today. That makes Safari and Firefox the only major, non-Chromium-based browsers left standing. Being built on Chromium means the new Edge will run the same extensions Chrome does alongside new ones, and though there are a few features missing at launch, pretty much all of the key ones users expect from a modern browser are included.
Given the prevalence of Windows-based machines globally and the fact that the new version of Edge will be gradually rolled out to all Windows 10 users, and preinstalled on future devices when they ship, Google’s Chrome has in many senses prevailed in the browser wars, a series of battles that Microsoft once dominated with its own Internet Explorer. The same fight killed Netscape Navigator and triggered one of the biggest antitrust battles in tech history.
What’s missing? — History and extension sync are both missing from Edge Chromium at launch, according to The Verge, but more pressing things like favorites, address book, and password sync are there. There’s also a new feature called Collections “coming soon” that lets users make a digital scrapbook of content while browsing.
What’s been added? — Edge Chromium supports 4K Netflix with Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision, but only on Windows 10, and only assuming a user has the requisite hardware to take advantage of it. New privacy features are also included that allow for the blocking of third-party tracking to various degrees.
Who do you trust? — Given how much time most of us spend online and how few meaningful variations there are between browsers, the question of which browser to use mostly comes down to deciding which company you trust most with the history of your online activity. Is it Google, Apple, Mozilla, Brave, Opera or the original bad boy of the browser battles, Microsoft?